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Former Marine lies about combat duty in attempt to play pro golf

February 21, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Golf commentator and reporter David Feherty was among those who reported on the made-up story of Michael Campbell. "When he told me he was a Marine, I was instantly fine with it. He didn't look injured, but I didn't care," Feherty wrote for golf.com.
Golf commentator and reporter David Feherty was among those who reported… (Scott Halleran / Getty Images )

A former Marine lied about his combat duty and sustaining a brain injury in an attempt to acquire sympathy and money in his pursuit of a professional golf career.

And it appears the media has again been duped without checking facts.

Michael Doyle Campbell, who was in the Marines from 2000 to 2004, admitted in federal court he told media outlets and military service organizations that he was injured in 2003 while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq.

The former Marine told his tale of hoping to overcome a brain injury as he pursued a pro golf career to media outlets such as National Public Radio and Golf Magazine, aiding him in defrauding charitable organizations of $40,000, according to federal court records.

Among the gifts he received: money for a car and car insurance, living expenses and golf tournament entry fees as well as golf equipment from sporting goods companies.

Campbell, though, served his tour of duty here in the United States and was never injured, according to court records. The Dallas Morning News in 2010 was among the first media organizations to figure out his story didn't add up.

He has agreed in a plea deal to admit to mail fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and payment of restitution to the charities and people he deceived. A judge must still approve the plea deal.

Wire and Internet reports contributed to this story.

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